Introducing: The Horde

Community Competitive 
By: variancekills - 11 Aug 2021

What is The Horde?

The Horde is an amateur Magic: The Gathering team that primarily operates in the Magic Arena platform and is organized in Discord. It was created in March of 2021. At present, it has over 100 members in its discord server. The mission of The Horde is to hone each member towards maximizing their performance in the game particularly in the aspects of of 1) completing card sets, 2) being aware of the meta and other pertinent information for competitive play, and 3) finishing strong on the ladder and at events and tournaments. The vision of The Horde is to develop a membership of at least 1200 strong, each qualified for the MTGA qualifier weekend every month.


The Horde employs an open, roles-based membership model. Anyone who seeks to develop their skills in the game is welcome to join the team. There are no requirements in terms of current skill level, achievements, time available to play, etc. However, staying in the team is dependent on adhering to the team’s mission and is (at least for now) at the sole discretion of team leadership.

Each member assumes or is assigned a role in The Horde. Each role has a primary function, but members are not restricted to this function. Members may also have more than one role assigned to them. Each member contributes what they can when they can towards the progress of the team. The different roles are as follows.

Scout: Is the default role when you join the team. The primary function of a scout is to share freely accessible information that they come by with the rest of the team. Such information can range from articles, published meta statistics, or tournament schedules.

Shaman: The shaman role is granted to any member who has a premium subscription to some MTG-related service (e.g. CFB Pro, SCG premium, etc.). The primary role of the shaman is to provide useful insights from the information they have access to, such as new deck lists, key points from current meta analysis, or sideboarding strategies.

Raider: The raider role is granted to any member who has qualified to at least one Mythic Qualifier Weekend in the current year. The primary role of the raider is to join tournaments and events, and share their insights and experience with others.

Benefits and Responsibilities

The main benefit from joining is being in a community of likeminded planeswalkers who want to do well and achieve relevant victories in the game, but also have our own professional and personal lives to lead outside of it. For many of us, Magic will likely remain a hobby we love to play competitively, winning one big tournament or another from time to time, but not really pursuing it as our primary career.

In The Horde, members can learn from other members who have been playing the game for a long time and at high levels of competition, or who have access to important information about the meta that others may not. Members post information about interesting, free, externally hosted tournaments that people can join. Many of these events are no-risk events with some prize support; perfect for beginners who want to dip their toes into the competitive field. The Horde also engages in opportunities to compete in bigger events when these arise. In the recent leg of the Star City Games Tour, the Horde provided sponsorships to play at some of the satellites, which yielded good returns when the sponsored player brought home top 8 during the first week (netting the Horde about $80 for its $8 investment).

In terms of responsibilities, members are expected to contribute only whatever amount of time and effort that they can spare. Magic is still just a hobby after all. If you see a noteworthy tournament posted on mtgmelee, post a link to it so those who are available can join it. If you read about an interesting change in the meta, inform the team so that others can prepare properly for climbing the ladder or playing at the next important event.


As an amateur team consisting of people who are not “pros” in the technical sense, The Horde does not receive any external sponsorships (yet?). However, it does have mechanisms to raise funds. Members are requested to contribute 5% of proceeds won from free tournaments and are required to split winnings with the Horde 50-50 if they are sponsored to compete in paid tournaments. To date, The Horde has accumulated over $150 in this manner. Certainly, this sum is nothing to write home about, but it is a start.


The Horde is still in its infancy, but it has chronicled some worthwhile achievements to date. It had 5 players participate in the Mythic Qualifier weekend in May and 6 participate in August, with one person making Day 2 in each of them. The team had two members top 8 the CFB Pro showdown in May (with one of them winning the tournament), and another member making top 8 the following month. It has also had several members win smaller tournaments with prize support on mtgmelee.

Let’s Goooooo!

Whether you’re an experienced grinder who has participated in every Mythic Qualifier weekend or someone who just started playing their first ranked matches, as long as you are interested in getting better at the game alongside others who want to do the same, The Horde wants you. Let’s play together; let’s grow together; let’s win together!

About variancekills:

Hi, I'm Mark. I've won exactly one World Magic Cup Qualifier, one Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier, one Arena Open ($2k) and one CFB Pro Showdown (April, 2021), and I am looking to win more. I've played in almost every Mythic Championship Qualifier Weekend and made Day 2 four times (so far). Follow my FB page or subscribe to my Twitch channel for no frills, competitive Magic. You won't see my face, but I won't hide my gameplay and deckchoice flaws. I play both MTGA and MTGO and stream most of the time when I do. I will lose often, and I will make mistakes, but I try my best to let you know when I do (and I think I will still win a lot more times than I lose).

The challenge for me every season is to find the best decks and make the most use out of them before they're no longer the best decks, or they get banned. I play a ton of limited when a set is just released in order to complete most of the rares for the set within a short timeframe. With the availability of Premier Drafts and the Metagame Challenge, I've spent as little as 2000 gold completing a set's rares. I'm currently sitting on over 800k gold and over 70k gems but have spent a grand total of $105 in the game.

I produce occassional video articles about the game that cover things that interest me, such as how to know when your rank is safe for a month's MCQW slot, how much you need to spend to get to Day 2 of an Arena Open, or how MDFCs affect Arena's Bo1 shuffler. I also mythbust a ton of crap about the game that you've no doubt heard or read about somewhere.

Finally, I'm a dad and husband first, a statistician, teacher, and researcher second (I know those are 3 things but bear with me), a Magic player third, and a content creator only because I am a Magic player. 

So yeah, let's play some Magic and may the shuffler be with us all.

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@Hecatomb Hi! Well, like I discuss in the article, people contribute only as much time and effort as they can spare. For probably everyone in the roster, Magic is just a hobby. The Horde is just an opportunity to combine our minimal efforts together in hope of achieving something bigger with it.
Hey Mark. I won one of your gem giveaways a little while back and am curious about joining this. I too am a father, husband, and construction worker so magic is my last priority, but my son and I still love it. I competed in August’s mythic qualifier as well.

All that being said, my time I can dedicate is limited and sporadic at best. How can I help
or what can I do? Thanks!

P.S. I’ve never joined a team or have any idea what’s involved. Thanks for any info!
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